It’s time again for people all over the country to make the trek back to their ancestral home, or at least the home that is going to contain the largest amount of their family. College students come home for a few weeks and people of all ages experience mixed emotions about once again sleeping in their childhood bedroom. There’s no place like home for the Holidays, right?
But for too many people from all walks of life they can’t go home for the holidays because they don’t have a home to go to at all. For them, there’s no home, no family, no tree and definitely not any warm holiday memories.
But there are local organizations that are trying to do something about that – not just during the holiday season, but all year round. You probably read the recent story right here in the pages of the Sedalia Democrat about the good people at the Sedalia Area Habitat for Humanity who built its 32nd home for the less fortunate in the area. I knew the organization had been working hard, but I didn’t know that it had built that many. Great job, guys – that’s one of the many great local organizations that work tirelessly just about every day if the year.
And the story discusses an interesting point: these homes aren’t just built and handed over free of charge. These new home owners pay for most of the construction eventually and I’d be willing to bet that they go on to volunteer some time for the sake of people who are in the same position that they were in.
There are those who seem unable to enjoy the things that they already have and the relative success that they’ve already achieved. They share macros on their favorite social media sites shaming the less fortunate for daring to accept some meager food stamps. There’s a popular thought that being poor is better than working for a living because the social safety net is just too generous.
But each day, certain politicians work hard to make sure that getting unemployment, food stamps and other social programs becomes increasingly difficult. The hoops are frequent, the red tape covers every surface and the paperwork never ends. It’s not easy to maintain that mostly mythical government assisted life – between the paperwork, the rejections and the time spent meeting with officials both in person and on the phone you better believe it’s like having a particularly soul crushing job. And then your friendly neighbors are shooting daggers at you because they think you’re some kind of leech.
So especially during this time of year we all need to remember it’s not a crime to be less fortunate. Those people living on disability probably aren’t living high on the hog and that guy sleeping in and alley probably isn’t doing so because he wanted a change of pace from his palatial government home.
Find someone less fortunate and invite them to your Christmas party! Gather the leftovers from your Christmas dinner and distribute it to the people on the streets. If there’s someone on your list that is particularly hard to shop for then make a donation in their name to the Sedalia Area Habitat for Humanity, CASA, Kid Safe, the Salvation Army, Open Door or some other deserving local organization.
For many Christmas is a time of good food, presents and general high living and that’s all the more reason why we need to give a little consideration to those who aren’t able to live it up on Christmas.
Travis McMullen is a longtime Sedalia resident who shares his views on the city through his weekly Democrat column.